Haptic Smartwatch for Blind and Visually Challenged People Developed by Researchers


eMediNexus    05 February 2023

The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) has established a partnership with Ambrane India for the large-scale production of "haptic smartwatches for the blind and visually challenged." The haptic smartwatch contains 12 touch-sensitive hour markers distributed across the dial face and is available in two variations. Mr. Siddhartha Panda, Professor, and Mr. Vishwaraj Srivastava, from the National Centre for Flexible Electronics at IIT Kanpur, created the smartwatch.


At present, talking watches do not provide a private form of communication for the blind and the visually impaired. Therefore, to solve the shortcomings of all these established technologies and provide the wearer with a seamless experience, IIT Kanpur researchers designed a haptic watch.


The dial face of the haptic watch created by IIT Kanpur contains 12 touch-sensitive hour markers. The watchs third and eighth markers, for instance, will be considered the active markers for determining the time of 3:40. Touching the active markers will create a vibrational pulse. The researchers stated that the watch is a hybrid of vibrational and tactile watches. They further added that the watch is easy to use, private, reasonably priced, and robust because the complexity of vibration watches that generate more than 20 pulses has been reduced to just 2.


The smartwatch model available on the market has smart capabilities to display information about health metrics like heart rate, step count, hydration reminders, and a smart timer to set a short timer by using a simple gesture.


Currently, available smartwatches for the blind and visually impaired lack privacy and only offer audio-based output. However, these issues are addressed by the smartwatch developed by IIT Kanpur, which provides a tactile-haptic interface for the display of time and health metrics.


(Source: https://health.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/health-it/iit-kanpur-develops-haptic-smartwatch-for-blind-and-visually-impaired/97598427 )

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